LYNDONVILLE, Vt. (WCAX) Surveillance video obtained by WCAX News shows an Upper Valley Produce truck smashing through the Miller's Run Covered Bridge in Lyndonville Thursday morning. The camera caught beams breaking as the truck rolled through the bridge, leaving broken pieces scatted in the road behind it.
"I look out my window and was like, 'Wow, that's damage,'" Nathalie Hill said.
Hill lives right near the covered bridge and says she woke up to the destruction.
"I look even closer and a lot of damage," she said.
"It's significant," Lyndonville Police Chief Jack Harris said.
Harris says that bridge is listed at 11-feet-9-inches tall. The truck, at its lowest, was 12-feet-4-inches tall.
Even with the signage, Harris says this happens a few times a year.
"She drove right past the sign posted that said 11-feet-9-inches and never even saw it," Harris said.
Police say the driver was using her phone GPS and that did not account for the height of the bridge, which resulted in excessive damage to the structure.
"Her excuse was right along with the rest of them. Her excuse was that she was following her GPS. That's the way it told her to go, so that's the way she went," Harris said.
Upper Valley Produce says the driver no longer works for them and they know the impact the damaged bridge has on the community.
The company sent a statement to WCAX News that said, in part: "Our locally owned company prides itself on partnering with local businesses and communities. Any behavior that negatively impacts the communities where we live and work is not tolerated."
State inspectors have visited the bridge and say it's unknown when the bridge will reopen to traffic. The walking path is currently open. Any charges and the cost of damages are still unknown.
Chief Hill says he doesn't know how to fix this issue.
"Other than stationing someone there, I don't know what else we can do," he said.
For now, community members like Hill will have to find another way around town
"That's the way I go to work," Hill said. "Have to go the long way around now."